Daily Archives: August 11, 2018

August 11: Proclaiming the Light

Isaiah 23:1–24:23; Luke 8:16–56; Job 5:17–27

Many of us wait for precisely the right moment to tell others about Christ’s work in us. Yet every moment is the right moment to speak up for Christ. Every moment is the right time to fully express what Christ is doing in us and through us.

Jesus affirms this sense of immediacy when He remarks, “And no one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).

This line becomes even more profound when we consider what happens a short time later. After Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, He says to him, “Return to your home and tell all that God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The man doesn’t wait for a better time. Instead, “he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole town all that Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).

We may consider our encounter with Christ less significant than a man healed from demon-possession, but we, too, have been delivered out of the darkness and into the light. Like the demon-possessed man, we have been saved by Christ’s work. We can all boldly proclaim, as the hymn “Amazing Grace” says, “I once was blind, but now I see.”

In the busyness of our lives, focused on the work and worries of the day, it’s too easy for us to slip the light of Christ under the bed where no one can see it—and where we cannot see ourselves in its light. Do we talk as much about Christ and His great work as we do about our jobs? If not, perhaps we should rethink our approach. If this life is merely a prologue to the eternal life to come, shouldn’t the light become our main focus—both in our conversations and our actions? Why wouldn’t we proudly display it for all to see?

How can you live the light today? What needs to change in your conversation topics?

John D. Barry[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

August 11 Martyrdom Without Love

“If I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing” (1 Cor. 13:3).

✧✧✧

Wrong motives rob even the greatest sacrifice of its spiritual benefit.

So far in his denunciation of loveless ministries, Paul has addressed what we say, what we know, what we believe, and how we give. Now he comes to the apex of his argument—how we die. Many Christians have made the ultimate sacrifice of martyrdom, but even that is useless without love.

In Paul’s time, many slaves were branded with a hot iron to identify them as belonging to their master. For that reason, some interpreters believe Paul was referring to becoming a slave when he spoke of delivering his body to be burned (1 Cor. 13:3). Others think he was speaking of burning at the stake—a death that many Christians suffered at the hands of their persecutors.

Although death by burning wasn’t a common form of persecution until after Paul wrote to the Corinthians, I believe that’s what he had in mind in this passage. In verses 1–2 he used extremes to make his point: speaking with the tongues of angels, knowing all mysteries and having all knowledge, having all faith, and giving all one’s possessions to feed the poor. The horrible, agonizing pain associated with death by fire is consistent with those extremes.

Jesus called martyrdom the highest expression of love (John 15:13). But it isn’t always a godly or loving thing to do. Many people have died for lesser reasons. You may recall stories of the Japanese kamikaze pilots in World War II or, more recently, monks or students who burned themselves in protest of some political or social injustice.

Even Christians aren’t exempt from wrong motives. It is reported that many Christians in the early church developed a martyr complex, wanting to die for the faith so they could become famous like the martyrs before them. Many deeds that look sacrificial on the surface are really the products of pride.

If the ultimate sacrifice is useless without love, so is every lesser sacrifice. But love sanctifies them all. So let God’s love govern everything you do!

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Memorize Romans 5:8 as a reminder to praise God for the sacrifice He has made for you.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 2:1–7. ✧ What strengths did the church in Ephesus have? ✧ What did the Lord say about its one glaring weakness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 236). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

AUGUST 11 SPIRITUAL SUFFOCATION

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.

Romans 5:20

How can I illustrate man’s proneness to spiritual suffocation?

I have read that mining companies used to take live caged birds deep into the mines to detect the presence of dangerous gases. If there was a high concentration of poison, the bird would quickly fall down and die in the bottom of the cage.

I consider a bird a miracle created by God—a wonder with wings, created to soar over green meadows and breathe the sweet air of the heavens. But take him underground where there is black damp and pollution and he quickly dies of suffocation!

You can apply that also to the soul of man!

God created man a living soul and intended him to rise and mount up into the eternities and live with God. There is in each of us a longing after immortality. But sin has ruined us. We have listened to that serpent, the devil. We have gone down into the isolated, dark, poison-infested pockets of the world, and lost men are dying everywhere of spiritual suffocation!

Lord, the Bible says that you have “crowned [man] with glory and honour” (Psalm 8:5). Yet so often we don’t act like we deserve that status. We are self-centered and fickle. Lord, cause a revival by Your Spirit and enable us to “soar” as You intended.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Obama Foundation’s monumental rip-off

Bait and switch

The Obama Presidential Center planned for Chicago is nothing more than a personal monument to Barack Obama and a center for political indoctrination in his radical views. It serves no public purpose the way that a presidential library would.  Obama’s presidential papers will not be housed there, and no scholars will be afforded the opportunity to explore the history of his presidency.

And, this is receiving vast public subsidies, despite assurances that it would be privately funded.  Barack and Michelle Obama have been playing a major role in its design, in a fashion reminiscent of a dictator putting up monuments to himself in some third world country. As the revised design stands, it will look like a cenotaph bizarrely erected before the death and burial of its principal.

I have written several pieces about the folly of the OPC. But I am delighted to be joined in this by the Wall Street Journal.  In an article there, Mark Glennon challenges the vast subsidies that all American taxpayers will be affording this personal and political endeavor:

Illinois taxpayers will put up at least $174 million for roadway and transit reconfigurations needed to accommodate the Obama Center. If you don’t live in Illinois, you may be smirking—but you’ll be footing the bill, too. Eighty percent of such spending is generally reimbursed by the federal government, and Illinois officials confirmed to me that they expect to receive $139 million from Washington if they request it.

Bait and switch

Taxpayers were softened up by a bait and switch strategy:

In a 2014 request for proposal, the Obama Foundation said that the planned presidential library “will include an Institute that will enhance the pursuit of the President’s initiatives beyond 2017.” This institute now seems to have taken over the project. As the Chicago Tribune reported in February: “Obama said he envisions his center as a place where young people from around the world can meet each other, get training and prepare to become the next generation of leaders.” No doubt, his definition of “leaders” will be political.

Which raises the question of why the state and city are giving the Obama Center official support. Back when it was still being sold as an official presidential library, the city of Chicago took steps to allow the project to be built in Jackson Park. Under a deal approved by the City Council in May, the Obama Foundation will lease 19.3 acres in perpetuity for $1.

One dollar for perpetual use of a huge amount of priceless lakefront land.

Fortunately, this is not going to happen without a legal challenge:

A nonprofit group called Protect our Parks has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that this violates state law. The suit calls the Obama Center a “bait and switch,” since the “public purpose” of a presidential library no longer exists.

I am proud to report that my work was cited in that lawsuit.

Promises made, promises broken

Last fall WTTW, a Chicago public television station, was reporting skeptically on “preliminary plans” for Illinois to cough up $100 million to “assist” the Obama Center: “How could a public financing proposal fly in a state that is bleeding red ink, especially when the Obamas have promised 100 percent private funding?”

The Obama Foundation responds that no public money will flow into its coffers (the tax deductibility of donations is another matter). But a hundred and seenty-four million taxpayer dollars spent on construction specifically designed for the facility is a subsidy, period.

Source: Obama Foundation’s monumental rip-off

If unborn babies don’t have consciousness or don’t feel pain, may we kill them?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Unborn baby scheming about pro-life apologetics Unborn baby scheming about pro-life apologetics

Was having a conversation by e-mail yesterday with a pro-abortion atheist, and he gave two reasons why he supported abortion in the first and second trimester. First, he said that unborn babies can’t feel pain, so it’s OK to kill them. Second, he said that unborn babies don’t have consciousness, so it’s OK to kill them. I thought it might be useful to link to something that answers both of these objections.

Frank Beckwith is the author of “Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice“. He wrote that book for Cambridge University Press, a top academic press. But before Cambridge University Press, Beckwith wrote four easy-to-understand essays for the Christian Research Journal. Part IV is the one that has the response to the two questions raised by my atheist friend.

Part I. The Appeal to Pity

Part II. Arguments…

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Willow Creek Has A Lot More to Repent of Than Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups — Lighthouse Trails Inc

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

An August 8, 2018 Christianity Today article titled Willow Creek Elders and Pastor Heather Larson Resign over Bill Hybels chronicles events that led to Willow Creek founder Bill Hybels’ resignation from the megachurch due to numerous women having come forth with accusations of years of sexual misconduct and abuse by Hybels. Because of the lackadaisical attitudes Willow Creek leadership has taken toward the victims of Hybels sexual abuse, the Christianity Today article states that the two current lead pastors have resigned followed by the entire board of Willow Creek stepping down.

The Christianity Today article leaves the impression that once Willow Creek gets rid of these leaders, elects a new board, and apologizes to the women, there will be a fresh “new start” for Willow Creek. However, there is more to this Willow Creek story than meets the eye, more to repent of than the cover up of sexual misconduct, and the Christianity Today article unknowingly alludes to it. The CT article states:

In the summer of 2008, Bill Hybels stood in front of thousands of pastors and other church leaders gathered at Willow Creek Community Church and admitted his megachurch had failed.

“We made a mistake,” he told the crowd gathered for the 2008 Global Leadership Summit (GLS). A detailed Willow study had found that the church had helped many people find new faith in Jesus, but had failed to teach them how to practice the spiritual disciplines needed to grow their faith.

Lighthouse Trails remembers when Bill Hybels came forth with this declaration. He had actually announced it earlier in 2007. At that time, headlines across Christian media blasted the news that Willow Creek had repented. Lighthouse Trails readers began contacting our editorial office asking if we heard the news that Willow Creek had repented. This led to our researchers digging a little deeper to get the full story on Willow Creek’s “repentance.” In November of 2007, we issued an article titled “No Repentance from Willow Creek – Only a Mystical Paradigm Shift.” Our article began:

Recently, headlines about Willow Creek filled the front pages of several online news outlets. The caption stated: “A Shocking Confession from Willow Creek Community Church.” Some wondered if Willow Creek’s pastor Bill Hybels was repenting from past errors in ministry techniques.1 But a Lighthouse Trails commentary showed that this “shocking confession” was actually a re-enforcement of Willow Creek’s efforts to “transform this planet” through contemplative and emerging spiritualities.

That earlier LT commentary stated:

It is no new thing that Willow Creek wishes to “transform the planet.” They are part of the emerging spirituality that includes Rick Warren and many other major Christian leaders who believe the church will usher in the kingdom of God on earth before Christ returns. This dominionist, kingdom-now theology is literally permeating the lecture halls of many Christian seminaries and churches, and mysticism is the propeller that keeps its momentum. If Willow Creek hopes to transform the planet, they won’t be able to get rid of the focus on the mystical (i.e., contemplative). Their new Fall 2007 Catalog gives a clear picture of where their heart lies, with resources offered by New Age proponent Rob Bell, contemplative author Keri Wyatt Kent, and the Ancient Future Conference with emerging leaders Scot McKnight and Alan Hirsch as well as resources by Ruth Haley Barton and John Ortberg. Time will tell what Willow Creek intends to do about strengthening its focus on “spiritual practices” and “transform[ing] the planet.”

Back then, Willow Creek had conducted a study to find out how they had failed as a ministry. The results of their study led Willow Creek to make a new more passionate commitment to taking their congregation into the emergent church via contemplative prayer practices (i.e., spiritual disciplines) as was clearly illustrated in the Fall 2007 issue of their magazine, where editors stated:  “The landscape of our ministries is shifting. Brace yourself for the aftershocks.” The issue included the articles and teachings by numerous contemplative/emergent figures such as Richard Foster, Richard Rohr, Ruth Haley Barton, and John Ortberg (see more detail). There was no doubt about it after reading that issue of their magazine, Willow Creek’s repentance was basically saying, “We are changing the way we do things around here – we need to incorporate more of the contemplative, mystical element into our people’s lives.” And, yet, Christianity Today and other Christian media outlets made it look like a true biblical repentance was taking place at Willow Creek.

Since Willow Creek’s “repentance” in 2007, Lighthouse Trails has tracked much of what Willow Creek has been up to from Lynne Hybel’s anti-Israel efforts to the work by Hybel’s grown kids and kids-in-law to bring the contemplative prayer movement to full fruition at Willow Creek—and, of course, Bill Hybel’s own demise through his out-of-control sexual exploitations of women who worked for or with him.

To give an example of where Willow Creek is at today, we’d like to draw your attention to The Practice, a program started by Bill Hybel’s son-in-law, Aaron Niequist, in 2014 that takes place on Sunday nights at Willow Creek and specifically incorporates contemplative prayer practices. On The Practice website, it states:

The Practice is an experimental gathering where we immerse ourselves in God’s dream for humanity, practice the historic disciplines [i.e., contemplative meditation] that align us with His dream, and carry each other along the way.

While the headlines for a while will focus on the sexual-abuse accusations and the resignations and apologies that are following, there’s not much chance that you will see headlines discussing Willow Creek’s contemplative/emergent ways. Of course, you won’t. Virtually every major Christian media outlet (including Christianity Today) is either giving a pass to this mystical paradigm shift or is outright promoting it. If only the purpose-driven, Willow Creek, seeker-friendly, church-growth, dominionist “church of today” could see that it is on a mystical slippery slope to full apostasy, and while exposing sexual predators and helping victims is an important thing, the very nature of the “new spirituality” with a dependence on esoteric experiences instead of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, will not make people live more righteously and God pleasing but will, in fact, pull them deeper into darkness and sin because the source of those esoteric (contemplative) experiences are driven and led by the same source that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and not by the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Thus, any “fruit” of such a “repentance” will be sour and harmful.

In spite of all that has been happening at Willow Creek, this year’s Global Leadership Summit still took place this week as is stated in a Religious News Service article. It was expected that over 400,000 around the world would participate. Christians today seem to need to have their ears tickled and their spiritual bellies filled, and the show must go on.

via Willow Creek Has A Lot More to Repent of Than Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups — Lighthouse Trails Inc

August 11, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

53:11 Knowledge means having insight into one’s mission (52:13). Justify means to acquit from guilt and to declare righteous (5:23).[1]


53:11. His suffering, which included His death, led to life (His resurrection). Satisfied that His substitutionary work was completed (“It is finished,” John 19:30), He now can justify (declare righteous those who believe; see comments on Rom. 1:17; 3:24) many (cf. Isa. 53:12). By His knowledge could be translated “by knowledge of Him” as in the NIV margin. He bore the punishment (cf. vv. 4, 6), for their iniquities (cf. v. 6), so that many people would not have to die. Because He died, they live.[2]


53:11 — By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.

Jesus nailed your sins to the cross and made you “alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us” (Col. 2:13, 14).[3]


53:11 He will … be satisfied. The one sacrifice of the Servant will provide complete satisfaction in settling the sin issue (1Jn 2:2; cf. 1:11). By His knowledge. The Servant knew exactly what needed to be done to solve the sin problem. justify the many. Through the divine “knowledge” of how to justify sinners, the plan was accomplished that by His one sacrifice He declared many righteous before God (Ro 5:19; 2Co 5:21).[4]


53:11 he shall see and be satisfied. The outcome of the servant’s sufferings is not regret but the satisfaction of obvious accomplishment. by his knowledge. His experiential knowledge of grief (v. 3, see ESV footnote). many. His triumph, which does not secure the salvation of every individual without exception (universalism), spreads out beyond the remnant of Israel to “a great multitude that no one could number” (Rev. 7:9; cf. Rom. 5:15). to be accounted righteous. See Rom. 4:11–12.

53:11 Christ’s death and resurrection results in our justification (Rom. 3:23–26; 4:25; 5:19).[5]


53:11 he will see All intact Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts and the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Bible) contain the word “light”; the Masoretic Text simply reads “he will see.” The most probable original text is “he will see light” (Dead Sea Scrolls) or “he will show him light” (Septuagint). The word “light” is required for the text to make sense poetically. This variant is a sign that the Servant experiences postmortem life, though it is not the only sign.

he will be satisfied The Servant may be satisfied by the fact that he has fulfilled Yahweh’s will (Isa 53:10). It is also possible that he is satisfied because he has suffered for the transgressions of God’s people (vv. 5–7). Or, the Servant could be satisfied in his resurrected life.

In his knowledge An elaboration on the previous line. The Servant knows that he has borne the iniquities of many and will make many righteous. He has learned this through his anguish (his suffering).

my servant Yahweh begins speaking again.

shall declare many righteous Like Israel—as Yahweh’s servant—was commanded to bring forth justice to the nations, the Servant makes many righteous.

will bear their iniquities The iniquities of the people are placed upon the Servant (similar to the goat on the Day of Atonement in Lev 16:22).[6]


53:11 knowledge. This is a reference to His insight into the divine plan (52:13 note).[7]


[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 863). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1109). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[3] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Is 53:11). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 53:11). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1339). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 53:11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1029). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

Nellie Ohr – the “Woman in the Middle” of the FBI/DOJ’s Russia Scandal – Is a Communist Sympathizer and Corrupt Never-Trumper — The Gateway Pundit

America is going to soon know the name Nellie Ohr.  Americans will also learn she was a communist sympathizer more connected to Russia than President Trump ever will be who did all she could to overturn the candidacy and Presidency of President Trump.

American Spectator recently posted an article on Nellie Ohr, who they call “the “dossier” spying scandal’s woman in the middle.” –

Read more: Nellie Ohr – the “Woman in the Middle” of the FBI/DOJ’s Russia Scandal – Is a Communist Sympathizer and Corrupt Never-Trumper — The Gateway Pundit

A tale of two confessions — The Cripplegate

In the past month, two prominent pastors have had their private sins publicly exposed: Bill Hybels and Art Azurdia—one nationally known and whose fall was front page news, the other known only inside of evangelical circles and his fall reported largely on social media.

Both demonstrated conduct contrary to the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3, conduct that disqualifies them from being elders. Both committed adultery, and the fall of both men will obviously bring shame on the name of Christ.

But there is one huge contrast between these two situations—namely, how their respective churches responded. 

In the case of Hybles, the accusations against him were not handled biblically and the potential harm for not only the families involved but for the church herself has been increased by that failure. In the case of Azurdia, his church followed the Biblical pattern for situations like this, and while his conduct will certainly cause some to question their faith, his church has mitigated that in large part by their adherence to scripture.

First Timothy 5:17-20 instructs churches how to respond to immorality among elders. Paul connects the privilege of being paid for ministry to living a life above reproach. For those that serve well as elders, they are worthy of honor. But for those who disqualify themselves from ministry, they are worthy rebuke.

It’s that instruction to “rebuke” (vs. 20) that is key. If an elder is found in sin, it is critical that he be rebuked publically. This is more than simply a show; the public rebuke should have the function of making people fear. Other pastors who hear of it should fear. The congregation should fear. Even the elect angels should feel a little tremble in their feathers.

Paul does not spell out the exact method of this rebuke. That is left to wisdom and local circumstances. But the non-negotiables include a clear statement that the elders of the church have found a pastor to be unqualified, they have reached that decision through due process (vs. 19), and that people hearing it should be afraid. If any of these are missed, then the church is not handling accusations biblically. But if all of them are followed, the inevitable spiritual harm that comes upon a congregation whose pastor has sinned is mitigated. The authority of Scripture is verified and vindicated, even if the man who preached it is shown to be a hypocrite. But if the church does not follow these instructions, then the hypocrisy of the pastor is enabled to infect the souls of the sheep.

With that in mind, consider the statement put out by Willow Creek (Hybles’ former church). [They have since taken down the statement from their website, but it was up and active for at least a week]. The church said over the years they had received several accusations of sin against their pastor. They did not adequately receive those charges, despite coming from multiple sources. And then the statement says, “We now believe Bill entered into areas of sin related to the allegations that have been brought forth.”

The statement does not describe what exactly (or generally) the sins were. And by using language like “entered into areas of sin” it waters down the accusations—what does “entered into areas of sin” even mean? In fact, by calling them “allegations that have been brought forth” the church is confessing that they did not follow the instructions of 1 Timothy 5. Taken together, this statement is going to cause of confusion (are the accusations true?) and create a general sense of obfuscation. It is not going to result in fear.

On the other hand, Trinity Church of Portland released a statement concerning Azurdia’s sin. They call it “a sexually immoral relationship with a woman from outside of the church.” They say that they investigated, Azurdia confessed, and the accusation is true. They say he is removed from ministry according to 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and “we grieve the shame this brings to the Gospel and the sorrow it brings to God’s people.”

Azurdia went on to release his own statement where he confesses to the sin, regrets the harm he has caused his family, and recognizes that each day will bring new evidence of how his betrayal will harm others. He ends with an appeal for people to see the power of the gospel in how his church has responded to this.

The bottom line—when a pastor disqualifies himself because of immorality, his church needs to investigate, and then rebuke. They need to rebuke him publically, clearly, and directly. Trinity Church did this, and the result is an example of trusting the power of the Bible in trying times. Willow Creek substituted mamby-pamby language of “entering into areas of sin,” which does not create the effects of rebuke or of fear.

I hope your church never needs to investigate an accusation against an elder. But if they do, I hope they realize that by following the instruction of 1 Timothy 5, they won’t be able to fix a bad situation, but they will be able to trust the gospel through their trial. This not done with language designed to protect the elder, but rather with clear and forceful language, wielded to instill fear in the hearts of those listening.

via A tale of two confessions — The Cripplegate

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 08/11/2018

Pro-‘Gay’ ‘Church’ Sells Building, Plans to Open Brewery in New Facility, Donate Profits to Planned Parenthood   Aug 06, 2018 03:43 pm

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The pro-homosexual Greater Purpose Community Church in California says that it has sold its former building and plans to open a public brewery in the now-closed Logos Bookstore in Santa Cruz. The brewery, which will also be used as meeting space for Sunday services, will donate part of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood, among other…

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Jerry Falwell Jr. to Pen Political Book With ‘Gay Marriage’ Advocate, Evolution Adherent Jimmy Carter   Aug 07, 2018 08:58 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, which hails itself as the world’s largest Christian university, says that he is writing a book with former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, the specifics of which have not yet been announced. Carter, who has publicly expressed his support for “gay marriage” and says that he believes in…

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‘I Don’t Like the Demon’: Parkland School Shooter Told Police Detective He Heard ‘Voice’ Telling Him to ‘Burn, Kill, Destroy’   Aug 07, 2018 02:05 pm

PARKLAND, Fla. — A newly-released transcript of the police interrogation of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz reveals that Cruz repeatedly asserted that he had been hearing a “voice” or a “demon” inside of himself instructing him to “kill destroy” and to hurt other people and himself. Cruz, 19, told Broward County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Curcio in…

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Violence Erupts in Argentina After Plans to Legalize Abortion Rejected   Aug 09, 2018 01:45 pm

(Sky News) — Protesters have lit fires and thrown bottles at police after Argentina’s Senate rejected a bill to legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Thousands of pro and anti-abortion protesters in rival colors gathered in heavy rain outside Congress in Buenos Aires as politicians debated the proposal for 15 hours. Officers fired tear…

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Man Found With 11 Children on Filthy New Mexico Compound Accused of Training Them to Commit School Shootings   Aug 10, 2018 09:27 am

(ABC News) — The man who was arrested on a filthy New Mexico compound with 11 abused children was training the children to commit school shootings, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. The documents allege that 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj was conducting weapons training at the property in Amalia, near the Colorado border. A foster parent of one of…

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New York Governor Calls for Investigation After Town Clerk Rejects Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ License   Aug 06, 2018 11:05 pm

Photo Credit: Pat Arnow ALBANY, N.Y. (USA Today) — A town clerk’s decision to reject a marriage license for a same-sex couple prompted New York’s governor to call for an investigation. Dylan Toften of Root, N.Y., wrote Monday on Facebook that Root Town Clerk Laurel “Sherrie” Eriksen would not issue a marriage license to him and his fiancé when they…

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Real Estate Company Removes Billboard Containing Bible, Preaching Imagery Following Complaints, Threat   Aug 09, 2018 08:48 am

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A real estate developer in Southern California has removed a billboard containing a Bible and preaching imagery from outside a shopping mall after reportedly receiving a number of complaints, as well as a threat, in objection to the religious nature of the sign. Harvest Christian Fellowship, led by Greg Laurie, had recently contacted the…

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Army Investigator Recommends Chaplain Be Found ‘Derelict in His Duties’ Surrounding Lesbian Who Wanted to Attend Marriage Retreat   Aug 08, 2018 04:49 pm

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An investigator with the U.S. Army has recommended that a Southern Baptist Army chaplain be found “derelict in his duties” surrounding a matter in which he declined to lead a marriage retreat after learning that a lesbian had signed up to attend the event with her partner. The investigator argues that the chaplain, who rescheduled the event so…

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Argentinian Doctors Take to Street in Opposition of Abortion Bill: ‘I’m a Doctor, Not a Murderer’   Aug 05, 2018 11:13 pm

Photo Credit: Evangelical Focus (Evangelical Focus) — Hundreds of Argentinian doctors recently took the streets to protest against the abortion bill that passed the lower house in June and will be debated on August 8. During the protests, many doctors held signs with the message, “I’m a doctor, not a murderer.” Some said they would rather go to jail…

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‘We Can’t Cut Ladies’ Hair’: Irish Barbershop Fined After Declining to Cut Hair of Woman Who Identifies as Man   Aug 05, 2018 05:45 pm

DUBLIN — A barbershop in Ireland has been fined 5,000 Euro after an employee declined to cut the hair of a woman who identifies as a man, as he noted that the business has a lease agreement to only cut men’s hair. According to reports, the woman, who goes by the name Lee McLoughlin, arrived at Charlie’s Barbers in the Nutgrove Shopping Centre last September and…

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August 11 Matthew’s Positive Response

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.—Matt. 9:9

Matthew’s gospel has already established that Jesus offered His forgiveness to the least-loved outcasts of society. It seems evident from the context of this verse that one of those outcasts, Matthew the tax collector (this gospel’s author), had been under real conviction of sin and spiritual need. He would have been very aware of Jesus’ ministry in and around Capernaum, even though he might not have personally heard Him preach or had seen Him do a miracle.

Matthew likely yearned for the forgiveness that was permanently denied to him by unbelieving Judaism, which viewed him as the worst kind of reprobate and traitor. So when Christ called him, Matthew without hesitation “got up and followed Him.”

Luke’s account describes the moment this way: Matthew “left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him” (Luke 5:28). Our Lord’s simple but profoundly urgent call was sufficient reason for him to forsake everything he once was and owned. Matthew knew that once he left his tax collector’s position he could never return to it. Of all the Twelve, he no doubt sacrificed the most in wealth to follow Jesus. Like Paul later, he affirmed that “whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil. 3:7).

ASK YOURSELF

If it’s been too long since the significance and honor of Jesus’ call swept over you, see the excitement in Matthew’s reaction to Christ. Watch him lunge at the chance to be one of Jesus’ disciples. Remember again the thrill of being in your Master’s service.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 232). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

AUGUST 11 BOLD MEN NEEDED IN THE WARFARE OF THE SOUL

…Neither count I my life dear to myself…that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the LORD Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

ACTS 20:24

The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival, that we need a new baptism of the Spirit—and God knows we must have both; but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Ghost!

We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control and squeeze weaker men. This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious entertainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.

They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.

The true Church has never sounded out public expectations before launching her crusades. Her leaders heard from God, they knew their Lord’s will and did it. Their people followed them—sometimes to triumph, oftener to insults and public persecution—and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

August 11 The Burden Bearer

My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:30

Jesus described Himself as “‘gentle and lowly in heart’” (Matt. 11:29); therefore, He gives rest, not weariness, to all those who submit to Him and do His work. In Christ you have not only a Savior but also a burden bearer. He helps you carry all your burdens, including the burden of obedience.

Jesus will never give you a burden too heavy to carry. His yoke has nothing to do with the demands of the law or human works. Instead, it pertains to the Christian’s obedience to Him, which He wants to make a joyful and happy experience. Thank God for providing such a gracious burden bearer in the person of His Son.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 244). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

August 11, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Happy Are the Sad

(5:4)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (5:4)

In Psalm 55 David cries out, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest” (vv. 6–8).

Such a cry comes from the lips of almost everyone at some time or another. David echoes the cry of humanity—a cry for release, a cry for freedom, a cry for escape from things that weigh heavy on us. When we face great sorrow, disappointment, tragedy, or failure, we wish that we could escape the trouble like we escape a thunderstorm by running inside. But comfort from the troubles of life is much harder to find than shelter from rain. The deeper the sorrow, the harder the pressure, the worse the despair, the more elusive comfort seems to be.

As pointed out in the previous chapter, all of the Beatitudes are paradoxical, because what they promise for what they demand seems incongruous and upside down in the eyes of the natural man. The paradox of the second beatitude is obvious. What could be more self-contradictory than the idea that the sad are happy, that the path to happiness is sadness, that the way to rejoicing is in mourning?

In the routine of ordinary, day-by-day living, the idea seems absurd. The whole structure of most human living—whether by the primitive or sophisticated, the wealthy or the poor, the educated or the uneducated—is based on the seemingly incontrovertible principle that the way to happiness is having things go your own way. Pleasure brings happiness, money brings happiness, entertainment brings happiness, fame and praise bring happiness, self-expression brings happiness. On the negative side, avoiding pain, trouble, disappointment, frustration, hardships, and other problems brings happiness. Sidestepping those things is necessary before the other things can bring full happiness. Throughout history a basic axiom of the world has been that favorable things bring happiness, whereas unfavorable things bring unhappiness. The principle seems so self-evident that most people would not bother to debate it.

But Jesus said, “Happy are the sad.” He even went so far as to say, “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25)—the converse beatitude of Matthew 5:4. Jesus turned the world’s principles exactly upside down. He reversed the path to happiness.

To discover what Jesus meant, and did not mean, in this beatitude we will look at the meaning of mourning as it is used here, the result of mourning, the way to mourn as Jesus teaches, and the way to know if we are truly mourning.

The Meaning of Mourning

Certain kinds of sorrow are common to all mankind, experienced by believer and unbeliever alike. Some of these sorrows are normal and legitimate, sorrows which concern the Lord and for which He knows our need. Others are abnormal and illegitimate, brought about solely because of sinful passions and objectives.

improper mourning

Improper mourning is the sorrow of those who are frustrated in fulfilling evil plans and lusts, or who have misguided loyalties and affection. To those who mourn in that way the Lord offers no help or solace.

David’s son “Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her” (2 Sam. 13:2). Amnon’s grief was caused by incestuous, unfulfilled lust.

Others carry legitimate sorrow to illegitimate extremes. When a person grieves so hard and so long over the loss of a loved one that he cannot function normally, his grief becomes sinful and destructive. Such depressing sorrow is usually related to guilt, essentially selfish, and, for a Christian, is a mark of unfaithfulness and lack of trust in God.

David grieved that way, in part to try to atone for his guilt. When the rebellious Absalom, another of David’s sons, was killed, his father went into inconsolable mourning (2 Sam. 18:33–19:4). Joab finally rebuked the king, saying, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased” (19:5–6). The wickedly ambitious Absalom had raised a rebel army, driven the king—his own father—out of Jerusalem, and taken over the palace.

David’s love for his son was understandable, but his judgment had been perverted. Probably because of his great feeling of guilt for having been such a poor father, and because he knew that Absalom’s tragedy was part of the judgment God sent because of David’s adulterous and murderous affair with Bathsheba, the king’s mourning over Absalom was abnormal. The judgment that came on Absalom was entirely deserved.

proper mourning

There are also, of course, other kinds of sorrow, legitimate sorrows that are common to all mankind and for which reasonable mourning is appropriate. To express these sorrows and to cry over them opens an escape valve that keeps our feelings from festering and poisoning our emotions and our whole life. It provides the way for healing, just as washing out a wound helps prevent infection.

An Arab proverb says, “All sunshine makes a desert.” The trouble-free life is likely to be a shallow life. We often learn more and mature more from times of sorrow than from times when everything is going well. A familiar poem by Robert Browning Hamilton expresses the truth:

I walked a mile with Pleasure,

She chattered all the way,

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,

And ne’er a word said she,

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

(Cited in William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew [rev. ed.; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 1:94)

Sarah’s death caused Abraham to mourn (Gen. 23:2). But the “father of the faithful” did not weep from lack of faith but for the loss his beloved wife, which he had every right to do.

Loneliness for God, from whom he felt separated for a time, caused the psalmist to declare, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?’ ” (Ps. 42:1–3).

Defeat and discouragement caused Timothy to mourn, leading Paul, his spiritual father, to write, “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy” (2 Tim. 1:3–4).

Anguished concern about the sins of Israel and God’s coming judgment on His people caused Jeremiah to mourn. “Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears,” he cried, “that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1).

Concern for the spiritual welfare of the Ephesian believers had caused Paul to mourn. “Night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears,” he said (Acts 20:31). Because of their great love for him the elders from the Ephesus church later mourned for Paul as he prayed with them on the beach near Miletus, “grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more” (v. 38).

The earnest love of a father caused him to be grief-stricken over his demon-possessed son, even as he brought him to Jesus for healing. No doubt tears ran down the man’s face as He implored Jesus to help, confessing “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

Repentant, worshipful devotion caused a woman to mourn over her sins as she went into the Pharisee’s house and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. To the proud host who resented her contaminating his house and interrupting his dinner party, Jesus said, “I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47).

Immeasurable divine love caused our Lord to weep at the death of Lazarus (John 11:35) and over the sinning people of Jerusalem, whom He wanted to gather into His care as a mother hen gathers her chicks (Matt. 23:37).

godly mourning

The mourning about which Jesus is talking in the second beatitude, however, has nothing to do with the types just discussed, proper or improper. The Lord is concerned about all of the legitimate sorrows of His children, and He promises to console, comfort, and strengthen us when we turn to Him for help. But those are not the kind of sorrow at issue here. Jesus is speaking of godly sorrow, godly mourning, mourning that only those who sincerely desire to belong to Him or who already belong to Him can experience.

Paul speaks of this sorrow in his second letter to Corinth. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you” (2 Cor. 7:10–11). The only sorrow that brings spiritual life and growth is godly sorrow, sorrow over sin that leads to repentance. Godly sorrow is linked to repentance, and repentance is linked to sin.

As the first beatitude makes clear, entrance into the kingdom of heaven begins with being “poor in spirit,” with recognition of total spiritual bankruptcy. The only way any person can come to Jesus Christ is empty-handed, totally destitute and pleading for God’s mercy and grace. Without a sense of spiritual poverty no one can enter the kingdom. And when we enter the kingdom we should never lose that sense, knowing “that nothing good dwells in [us], that is, in [our] flesh” (Rom. 7:18).

Spiritual poverty leads to godly sorrow; the poor in spirit become those who mourn. After his great sin involving Bathsheba and Uriah, David repented and expressed his godly sorrow in Psalm 51: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight” (vv. 3–4). Job was a model believer, “blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil” (Job. 1:1). Yet he still had something to learn about God’s greatness and his own unworthiness, about God’s infinite wisdom and his own very imperfect understanding. Only after God allowed everything dear to Job to be taken away and then lectured His servant on His sovereignty and His majesty, did Job finally come to the place of godly sorrow, of repenting of and mourning over his sin. He confessed, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (42:5–6). God loves and honors a morally righteous life, but it is no substitute for a humble and contrite heart, which God loves and honors even more (Isa. 66:2).

As seen in the discussion of the first beatitude, makarios (blessed) means to be happy, blissful. That happiness is a divine pronouncement, the assured benefit of those who meet the conditions God requires.

The condition of the second beatitude is mourning: blessed are those who mourn. Nine different Greek words are used in the New Testament to speak of sorrow, reflecting its commonness in man’s life. It is woven into the cloth of the human situation. The story of history is the story of tears. And before the earth’s situation gets better it will get worse. Jesus tells us that before He comes again, “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matt. 24:7–8). Until the Lord returns, history is destined to go from tragedy to greater tragedy, from sorrow to still greater sorrow.

Of the nine terms used for sorrow, the one used here (pentheō, mourn) is the strongest, the most severe. It represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief, and was generally reserved for grieving over the death of a loved one. It is used in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) for Jacob’s grief when he thought his son Joseph was killed by a wild animal (Gen. 37:34). It is used of the disciples’ mourning for Jesus before they knew He was raised from the dead (Mark 16:10). It is used of the mourning of world business leaders over the death of its commerce because of the destruction of the world system during the Tribulation (Rev. 18:11, 15).

The word carries the idea of deep inner agony, which may or may not be expressed by outward weeping, wailing, or lament. When David stopped hiding his sin and began mourning over it and confessing it (Ps. 32:3–5), he could declare, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (vv. 1–2).

Happiness, or blessedness, does not come in the mourning itself. Happiness comes with what God does in response to it, with the forgiveness that such mourning brings. Godly mourning brings God’s forgiveness, which brings God’s happiness. Mourning is not merely a psychological or emotional experience that makes people feel better. It is a communion with the living, loving God who responds to the mourner with an objective reality—the reality of divine forgiveness!

David experienced and expressed many kinds of common human sorrow, both proper and improper. He mourned over being lonely, over being rejected, over being discouraged and disappointed, and over losing an infant child. He also mourned inordinately over the death of Absalom, whom God had removed to protect Israel and the messianic throne of David. But nothing broke the heart of David like his own sin. No anguish was as deep as the anguish he felt when he finally saw the awfulness of his offenses against the Lord. That is when David became happy, when he became truly sad over his transgressions.

The world says, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile.” Hide your problems and pretend to be happy. The same philosophy is applied to sin. But Jesus says, “Confess your sins, and mourn, mourn, mourn.” When we do that, our smiles can be genuine, because our happiness will be genuine. Godly mourning brings godly happiness, which no amount of human effort or optimistic pretense, no amount of positive thinking or possibility thinking, can produce.

Only mourners over sin are happy because only mourners over sin have their sins forgiven. Sin and happiness are totally incompatible. Where one exists, the other cannot. Until sin is forgiven and removed, happiness is locked out. Mourning over sin brings forgiveness of sin, and forgiveness of sin brings a freedom and a joy that cannot be experienced in any other way.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” James tells us. “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:8–10).

There is great need in the church today to cry instead of laugh. The frivolity, silliness, and foolishness that go on in the name of Christianity should themselves make us mourn. God’s counsel to the frivolous happy, the self-satisfied happy, the indulgent happy is: “Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom.”

The faithful child of God is constantly broken over his sinfulness, and the longer he lives and the more mature he becomes in the Lord, the harder it is for him to be frivolous. He sees more of God’s love and mercy, but he also sees more of his own and the world’s sinfulness. To grow in grace is also to grow in awareness of sin. Speaking to Israel, the prophet Isaiah said, “In that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing, to shaving the head, and to wearing sackcloth. Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine.” Following the world’s philosophy, which still prevails today, God’s ancient people said, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die” (Isa. 22:12–13).

We follow that philosophy vicariously, if not actually, when we laugh at the world’s crude and immoral jokes even though we do not retell them, when we are entertained by a sin even though we do not indulge in it, when we smile at ungodly talk even though we do not repeat the words. To joke about divorce, to make light of brutality, to be intrigued by sexual immorality is to rejoice when we should be mourning, to be laughing when we should be crying. To “rejoice in the perversity of evil” is placed alongside “delight in doing evil” (Prov. 2:14). To take “pleasure in wickedness” (2 Thess. 2:12) is to be a part of the wickedness, whether or not we commit the specific sin.

Much of the church today has a defective sense of sin, which is reflected in this defective sense of humor. When even its own members make the church the butt of jokes, make light of its beliefs and ordinances, caricature its leaders as inept and clownish, and make its high standards of purity and righteousness the subject of humorous commentary, the church has great need to turn its laughter into mourning.

The Bible recognizes a proper sense of humor, humor that is not at the expense of God’s name, God’s Word, God’s church, or any person, except perhaps ourselves. God knows that “a joyful heart is good medicine” (Prov. 17:22), but a heart that rejoices in sin is taking poison, not medicine. The way to happiness is not in ignoring sin, much less in making light of it, but rather in sorrow over it that cries to God.

We can react to our spiritual bankruptcy in one of several ways. Like the Pharisees we can deny our spiritual destitution and pretend we are spiritually rich. Or, like monastics and advocates of moral rearmament, we can admit our condition and try to change it in our own power and by our own efforts. Or we can admit our condition and then despair over it to such a degree that we try to drown it in drink, escape it by drugs or by activity, or give up completely and commit suicide, as Judas did. Because they can find no answer in themselves or in the world, these people conclude that there is no answer. Or, like the prodigal son, we can admit our condition, mourn over it, and turn to the heavenly Father to remedy our poverty (see Luke 15:11–32).

Mourning over sin is not being engulfed in despair. Even the person who has been severely disciplined by the church should be forgiven, comforted, and loved, “lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Cor. 2:7–8). Nor is godly mourning wallowing in self-pity and false humility, which are really badges of pride.

True mourning over sin does not focus on ourselves, not even on our sin. It focuses on God, who alone can forgive and remove our sin. It is an attitude that begins when we enter the kingdom and lasts as long as we are on earth. It is the attitude of Romans 7. Contrary to some popular interpretation, Paul is not here speaking simply about his former condition. The problems of chapter 7 were not one-time experiences that were completely replaced by the victories of chapter 8. The apostle clearly says, “For that which I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (7:15). Here he uses the present tense, as he does throughout the rest of the chapter: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; … for the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish” (vv. 18–19); “I find then the principle that evil is present in me” (v. 21); “Wretched man that I am!… So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (vv. 24–25).

Paul wrote those words at the height of his ministry. Yet righteousness and sin were still fighting a battle in his life. As he acknowledges in verse 25, the way of victory is “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” but the rest of the verse makes clear that, at that time, the victory was not yet complete. He knew where the victory was, and he had tasted the victory many times. But he knew that, in this life, it is never a permanent victory. The presence of the flesh sees to that. Permanent victory is assured to us now, but it is not given to us now.

Paul not only spoke of the creation anxiously longing for restoration, but of his own longing for complete restoration. “And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:19, 22–23). Paul was tired of sin, tired of fighting it in himself, as well as in the church and in the world. He longed for relief. “For indeed in this house we groan,” he said, “longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.” He greatly preferred “rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:2, 8).

The mark of the mature life is not sinlessness, which is reserved for heaven, but growing awareness of sinfulness. “If we say that we have no sin,” John warns, “we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). The subjects of God’s kingdom—the forgiven ones, the children of God and joint heirs with the Son—are characterized by continual confession of sin.

Several years ago a college student said to me, “I’ve been liberated. Someone explained to me the true meaning of 1 John 1:9, and now I realize that I no longer have to confess my sins.” I asked him, “Well, do you still confess your sins?” “I just told you that I don’t have to anymore,” he replied. “I know you did,” I said, “but do you still confess your sins?” When he replied, “Yes, that’s what bothers me,” I stopped being bothered. I said, “I’m very glad to hear that,” and then told him that I knew that, despite the false teaching to which he had been exposed, he was a genuine Christian. His redeemed nature refused to go along with the false teaching his mind had temporarily accepted.

Penthountes (mourn) is a present participle, indicating continuous action. In other words, those who are continually mourning are those who will be continually comforted. In his ninety-five theses Martin Luther said that the Christian’s entire life is a continuous act of repentance and contrition. In his psalms David cried out, “For my iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me” (38:4) and, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (51:3).

There is no record in the New Testament of Jesus laughing. We are told of His weeping, His anger, His hunger and thirst, and many other human emotions and characteristics. But if He laughed, we do not know of it. We do know that, as Isaiah predicted, He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Yet today we often hear of another Jesus, who laughs and cajoles and draws people into the kingdom by His nonjudgmental spirit and His winsome way. The fun-loving, escapist world of comedians is found plying its trade even in the church—and finding ready acceptance.

The Result of Mourning

The result of godly mourning is comfort: they shall be comforted. That is why they are blessed. It is not the mourning that blesses, but the comfort God gives to those who mourn in a godly way.

The emphatic pronoun autos (they) indicates that only those who mourn over sin will be comforted. The blessing of God’s comfort is reserved exclusively for the contrite of heart. It is only those who mourn for sin who will have their tears wiped away by the loving hand of Jesus Christ.

Comforted is from parakaleō, the same word that, as a noun, is rendered Comforter, or Helper, in John 14:16, where we are told that Jesus was the first Helper, and the Holy Spirit is “another Helper.”

The Old Testament also speaks of God comforting those who mourn. Isaiah tells of the Messiah’s coming, among other things, “to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isa. 61:2–3). David was comforted by the rod and staff of his divine Shepherd (Ps. 23:4).

As our mourning rises to the throne of God, His unsurpassed and matchless comfort descends from Him by Christ to us. Ours is the “God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3), who is always ready to meet our need, admonishing, sympathizing, encouraging, and strengthening. God is a God of comfort, Christ is a Christ of comfort, and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of comfort. As believers we have the comfort of the entire Trinity!

Shall be does not refer to the end of our lives or the end of the age. Like all other blessings of God, it will be completed only when we see our Lord face-to-face. In the eternal heavenly state God “shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4).

But the comfort of Matthew 5:4 is future only in the sense that the blessing comes after the obedience; the comfort comes after the mourning. As we continually mourn over our sin, we shall be continually comforted—now, in this present life. God is not only the God of future comfort but of present comfort. “God our Father” already has “given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace” (2 Thess. 2:16).

Even God’s written Word is a present comforter, given for our encouragement and hope (Rom. 15:4). And as God Himself gives us comfort and His Word gives us comfort, we are called to comfort each other with the promises of His Word (1 Thess. 4:18; cf. 2 Cor. 1:6; 7:13; 13:11; etc.).

Happiness comes to sad people because their godly sadness leads to God’s comfort. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,” Jesus says, “and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). He will lift the burden from those who mourn over sin, and He will give rest to those who are weary of sin. As often as we confess our sin, He is faithful to forgive, and for as long as we mourn over sin He is faithful to comfort.

How to Mourn

What does true mourning over sin involve? How can we become godly mourners?

eliminate hindrances

The first step requires removing the hindrances that keep us from mourning, the things that make us content with ourselves, that make us resist God’s Spirit and question His Word, and that harden our hearts. A stony heart does not mourn. It is insensitive to God, and His plow of grace cannot break it up. It only stores up wrath till the day of wrath.

Love of sin is the primary hindrance to mourning. Holding on to sin will freeze and petrify a heart. Despair hinders mourning because despair is giving up on God, refusing to believe that He can save and help. Despair is putting ourselves outside God’s grace. Of such people Jeremiah writes, “They will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart’ ” (Jer. 18:12). The one who despairs believes he is destined to sin. Because he believes God has given up on him, he gives up on God. Despair excuses sin by choosing to believe that there is no choice. Despair hides God’s mercy behind a self-made cloud of doubt.

Another hindrance is conceit, which tries to hide the sin itself, choosing to believe that there is nothing over which to mourn. It is the spiritual counterpart of a doctor treating a cancer as if it were a cold. If it was necessary for Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the cross to save us from our sin, our sin must be great indeed!

Presumption hinders mourning because it is really a form of pride. It recognizes the need for grace, but not much grace. It is satisfied with cheap grace, expecting God to forgive little because it sees little to be forgiven. Sins are bad, but not bad enough to be confessed, repented of, and forsaken. Yet the Lord declared through Isaiah, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:7). No pardon is offered to the unrepentant, presumptuous person who refuses to forsake his sin. The gospel that teaches otherwise has always been popular, as it clearly is in our own day; but it is a false gospel, “a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6), a distortion and contradiction of the gospel of Scripture.

Procrastination hinders godly mourning simply by putting it off. It says, “One of these days, when things are just right, I’ll take a hard look at my sins, confess them, and ask God’s forgiveness and cleansing.” But procrastination is foolish and dangerous, because we “do not know what [our] life will be like tomorrow. [We] are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). The sooner the disease of sin is dealt with the sooner comfort will come. If it is not dealt with, we have no assurance that comfort will ever come, because we have no assurance we will have time to confess it later.

The most important step we can take in getting rid of hindrances to mourning, whatever they are, is to look at the holiness of God and the great sacrifice of sin-bearing at the cross. If seeing Christ die for our sins does not thaw a cold heart or break up a hardened heart, it is beyond melting or breaking. In her poem “Good Friday,” Christina Rossetti gives these moving lines:

Am I a stone and not a sheep,

That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,

To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss

And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved

Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;

Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;

Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon

Which hid their faces in a starless sky.

A horror of great darkness at broad noon—

I, only I.

Yet give not oe’r

But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;

Greater than Moses, turn and look once more

And smite a rock.

study god’s word

The second step toward godly mourning is to study sin in Scripture, to learn what an evil and repulsive thing it is to God and what a destructive and damning thing it is to us. We should learn from David to keep our sin ever before us (Ps. 51:3) and from Isaiah to say, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isa. 6:5). We should learn from Peter to say, “I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8) and from Paul to confess that we are the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). As we hear those great men of God talking about their sin, we are forced to face the reality and the depth of our own.

Sin tramples on God’s laws, makes light of His love, grieves His Spirit, spurns His forgiveness and blessing, and in every way resists His grace. Sin makes us weak and makes us impure. It robs us of comfort and, much more importantly, robs God of glory.

pray

The third step toward godly mourning is to pray for contriteness of heart, which only God can give and which He never refuses to give those who ask. It must always be recognized that humility depends on the working of the Lord. The way to godly mourning lies not in pre-salvation human works, but in God’s saving grace.

How to Know if We Are Mourning as Christ Commands

Knowing whether or not we have godly mourning is not difficult. First, we need to ask ourselves if we are sensitive to sin. If we laugh at it, take it lightly, or enjoy it, we can be sure we are not mourning over it and are outside the sphere of God’s blessing.

The mock righteousness of hypocrites who make every effort to appear holy on the outside (see Matt. 6:1–18) has no sensitivity to sin, only sensitivity to personal prestige and reputation. Nor does the mock gratitude of those who thank God they are better than other people (Luke 18:11). Saul regretted that he had disobeyed God by not slaying King Agag and by sparing the best of the Amalekite animals. But he was not repentant; he did not mourn over his sin. He instead tried to excuse his actions by claiming that the animals were spared so that they could be sacrificed to God and that the people made him do what he did. He twice admitted that he had sinned, and even asked Samuel for pardon. But his real concern was not for the Lord’s honor but for his own. “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel” (1 Sam. 15:30). Saul had ungodly regret, not godly mourning.

The godly mourner will have true sorrow for his sins. His first concern is for the harm his sin does to God’s glory, not the harm its exposure might bring to his own reputation or welfare.

If our mourning is godly we will grieve for the sins of fellow believers and for the sins of the world. We will cry with the psalmist, “My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Thy law” (Ps. 119:136). We will wish with Jeremiah that our heads were fountains of water that we could have enough tears for weeping (Jer. 9:1; cf. Lam. 1:16). With Ezekiel we will search out faithful believers “who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed” around us (Ezek. 9:4; cf. Ps. 69:9). We will look out over the community where we live and weep, as Jesus looked out over Jerusalem and wept (Luke 19:41).

The second way to determine if we have genuine mourning over sin is to check our sense of God’s forgiveness. Have we experienced the release and freedom of knowing our sins are forgiven? Do we have His peace and joy in our life? Can we point to true happiness He has given in response to our mourning? Do we have the divine comfort He promises to those who have forgiven, cleansed, and purified lives?

The godly mourners “who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Ps. 126:5–6).[1]


Life on Wings

Matthew 5:4

In one of the great Old Testament Psalms, after a passionate description of the disappointments and bitterness of this life, David cries out, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest—I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm” (Ps. 55:6–8). In these words David voices a wish that is as ancient as fallen humanity and which will endure as long as men live on this planet. It is a cry for freedom, for life on wings. It is uttered by those who yearn for comfort in a life of bitterness, frustration, disappointment, and trials.

All men know the longing for freedom, sometimes intensely, but not all find the solution. Fortunately, David found it. For he said, “But I call to God, and the Lord saves me” (v. 16). God was David’s solution. God gave him joy. In his joy he recommended a life of trusting to others: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (v. 22). David had found that the way of escape in life’s sorrows does not lie to the north or the south—or to any of the points of the compass—but upward, and that God himself provides it. He would have said with Isaiah, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:31).

I believe that the second of the Lord’s Beatitudes is a New Testament expression of this identical lesson, for it speaks of the happiness of the man whom God comforts. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” And there is no comfort to compare with the comfort given to a man by God.

Mourning for Others

The unusual thing about Christ’s statement, however, is that he links the comfort of God to mourning, or to what we would call intense sorrow, and he seems to say that the way to a jubilant heart is through tears. Everything in the world opposes this principle. The world says, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die.” The English poet Edward Young wrote, “’Tis impious in a good man to be sad.” We sing,

What’s the use of worrying?

It never was worthwhile.

So pack up your troubles in your old kit bag

And smile, smile, smile.

But Jesus says that happiness comes through sorrow. And the parallel passage in Luke 6 makes his words even sharper: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21). Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes, “This saying condemns the apparent laughter, joviality and happiness of the world by pronouncing a woe upon it. But it promises blessing and happiness, joy and peace to those who mourn.”

It is evident, of course, that in this, as in the other Beatitudes, Jesus is declaring with a spiritual principle, a spiritual mourning, and not merely with things seen from a purely human standpoint.

The verse could mean three things. It could refer only to a human sorrow, such as the sorrow we know when faced by death or disappointments. It would be correct when it says that such sorrow can lead to comfort. In his commentary on Matthew’s Gospel William Barclay reminds his readers of an Arab proverb that says, “All sunshine makes a desert.” And it is true that a life of unmixed happiness would be unbearable and withering to the soul. Sorrow gives spice to life. It teaches us to appreciate good things. It increases our sensitivity, particularly to the needs and sorrows of others. Moreover, such sorrow will sometimes drive a man to God. John R. W. Stott, the minister of All Souls Church in London, once conducted a poll of his congregation to find out what actually caused the members of it to become Christians. He was surprised to find that a majority listed as the greatest single human factor a feeling of personal desperation, a sense of being at the end of their resources. The second beatitude could refer to such sorrow. And yet, it is hard to feel that this sense of sorrow lies at the heart of Christ’s teaching.

The beatitude also could refer to a mourning for the evil of this world, to what we could call a social conscience. It seems to me that this comes a great deal closer to Christ’s meaning, particularly if we link it to a sorrow for the world’s sin. The English social reformer, Lord Shaftesbury, probably did more to improve the life of normal men and women in England in the last century than any other person, and yet his career as a social reformer began quite simply. One day as a boy, when he was going along the streets of Harrow, he met a pauper’s funeral. The body of the poor man had been placed in a handmade coffin, shoddy and unembellished, and it was being pushed through the street on a hand-drawn cart. The men who accompanied it were apparently drunk. As they wove their way along the streets they sang their risqué drinking songs and told lewd stories. Their way led up a hill to the graveyard, and as they went up the hill the coffin slid off the cart and broke open. The scene that followed was hilarious to the drunken companions. It was disgusting to some onlookers. But to Shaftesbury it seemed an evil that called for the deepest sorrow. He said to himself, “When I grow up I am going to use my life to see that such things will not happen.”

The second beatitude can refer to such sorrow. And it does refer to it in part. Christianity is partly caring for other people. And it should produce a sound social conscience. In fact, if it does not, we have some reason to doubt our Christianity. For John said, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4). What were Christ’s commandments? Well, there were many. But among them were these: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44); “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). “Give to everyone who asks you” (Luke 6:30); “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36); “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). An awareness of the sin of the world should produce a mourning for its evils in Christ’s followers.

It follows from this that the Christian church should never stand aloof from the great social movements of the day or, worse yet, be critical of them. Christians should be in the vanguard of social reform. And they should be there from a heartfelt love of humanity and from an acute awareness of the horror and destructiveness of man’s sin.

I believe that this often has been true in past periods of church history. Lord Shaftesbury was one of the great Christian social reformers, but there were others: Calvin, Oberlin, Wilberforce, Moorehouse. And it would be proper to include in this list most of the pioneers of the modern missionary movement—William Carey, Robert Moffat, David Livingstone, John Paton, and others—all of whom combined an evangelistic zeal with social action. Unfortunately, however, much of the force of their social concern has been lost to the believing church today.

There are reasons for the present dullness of the evangelical church on social issues. For one thing, much of the time, money, and effort of this great body of Christendom has gone into the missionary movement, with striking results. And there is a natural limit both in time and resources to what one body of Christians can do. For another thing, confronted with the rising tide of liberalism at the start of this century, conservatives found much of their efforts taken up quite properly with a defense of Scripture and basic biblical doctrines. Third, major efforts were also made in the area of evangelism. None of these programs was wrong. All were essential. But the involvement of believers in the social ills of this and other nations was important too, and the neglect of these crying ills inevitably gave the impression that the Christians were unaware of them and, in fact, did not mourn for others.

To each of us, therefore, the second beatitude is a call to involvement in the social arena—in the struggle of blacks for true equality, the plight of underpaid workers, pollution of our natural resources, education, ethical problems in politics, medicine, and business, and other contemporary problems—just as Christians were formerly active in the war against slavery, child labor, lack of freedom of the press, and immorality. We should mourn for such things. And we should mourn deeply enough to do something about them.

Mourning for Sin

There is no doubt then that these thoughts are wrapped up in the second beatitude. It speaks to these issues. And yet, I cannot feel that even this point gets quite to the heart of Christ’s statements. Jesus was speaking of an individual mourning, but he also spoke of an individual comforting. And the combination seems to suggest that the primary mourning should be for the individual himself and for his own spiritual condition. This is a mourning for sin. And if this is the primary interpretation of the verse, then it is a promise that God himself will comfort the one who sees his own unworthiness before him.

This sense of the promise is substantiated by several factors. We already have seen in these studies that the promise of happiness to the poor in spirit is actually a promise to the one who knows himself spiritually bankrupt. It is a statement of the first qualification for a man’s justification before God. As a mourning for sin the next one of Christ’s beatitudes would naturally flow from it.

Moreover, because a mourning for sin lies at the heart of Christ’s message, it is natural to expect this theme in the first of his great sermons. When Jesus entered the synagogue at Nazareth on the day that he began his formal ministry, he read from the scroll of Isaiah. He read: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19). What was the deliverance Christ preached? It was not a proclamation against slavery, although that rightly followed in the history of the Christian church. Jesus did not set about to overthrow the slavery of the Roman Empire; he never preached against it. The deliverance he proclaimed was a deliverance from the tyranny of sin. And it was actually because he broke this tyranny over men that he proved so effective later—as his Spirit worked through his disciples and followers—as a corrector of many of the social ills of this world, including physical slavery.

The Gospels tell us that Jesus wept twice in his ministry, once for the unbelief of the Jews at the grave of Lazarus and once over the sin and hardness of heart of Jerusalem. Sin was the great problem. And, thus, he asked men to weep for it.

Christ’s Comfort

The promise of the second beatitude is “comfort,” comfort to those who sense their sin and mourn for it.

In the first place there is comfort in a deliverance from sin’s penalty. The sensitive soul will grieve for his sins and see them as the great offense to God that they are. But he may also experience the comfort that God has provided through Christ’s cross. The Bible tells us that we were dead in trespasses and sins, that we merited nothing from God but alienation and eternal death. But Jesus Christ came to step between the wrath of God against sin on the one hand and all who trust in Jesus Christ on the other. He took the blow of God’s wrath upon himself, paying the full penalty for our sin, and God has placed the full righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to our account, so that we are seen as being perfectly acceptable before God in him. The Bible tells us that we have been made “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6 nsb). There is unspeakable joy in this experience. This is the joy that was foretold by the angels on the evening of Christ’s birth, for they said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).

Then, too, the deliverance of Jesus Christ also means a deliverance from present sin and from its power. If you are a Christian, Christ lives in you through his Holy Spirit. You are united to him. And you are united to him in order to make a victorious, triumphant life possible.

I know that there are some who teach that there is no victory over sin in this world. And I know that, even according to the Bible, sin will always be with us. John says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). This is true. But in spite of the fact that sin will always be with the Christian so long as he lives, it is simply not true that he needs to be defeated by it. Paul in Galatians says, “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (5:16). The book then goes on to tell what sins we shall not fulfill if we do walk in the Spirit: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, drunkenness, revelings, and the like. According to Galatians the Christian is supposed to have victory over these things.

The presence of sin in our lives is a bit like the presence of carbon monoxide in the exhaust system of an automobile. So long as the car runs, the deadly gas will be present. If it is unchecked, it will bring death to the occupant of the car. But when the car is properly run and properly maintained, the carbon monoxide is contained within the exhaust system so that it does not break forth in death and only a slight smell is present as it is mixed with the burning oil and gas fumes. In the same way, there will always be the smell of sin about us and in what we do. But it need not break out to bring death. The restraining power of Christ through the Holy Spirit will prevent it, and the contamination of death need not spread from us. In this, too, there is great comfort for the Christian.

The final aspect of God’s comfort lies in the fact that one day Christ will remove sin and all of its effects from the believer forever. This will mean a deliverance even from sin’s presence; and it will mean an end to pride, hate, suffering, sickness, and death. Now we are aware of our sin. The smell of it is about us. But the day is coming when we shall be taken from this world into Christ’s presence. In that day there will be no more sin to confess, for we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). We shall know an unmixed good. We shall be “liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). That will truly be “life on wings.” And we shall know that those who mourned for their sin have been comforted.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 153–165). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 25–30). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Liberal Media Desperate to Destroy Pro-Life Movie Telling Truth About Roe v. Wade Before Its Release | LifeNews.com

In light of new conservative Supreme Court nominations, the left has been in abject fear over any possible restriction on abortion, and has been lashing out. Their new target is the Hollywood production of Roe v. Wade.

And although director Nick Loeb has remained adamant that things are going smoothly and that he has been maintaining the cast and production levels he had originally planned to have, the scathing “fake news” reports have been circling his project.

The Daily Beast was one of the first lefty outlets to report on problems behind the scenes. It reported that “the film’s director and first assistant director dropped out on the first day of shooting … A costumer, location manager, and several other crew members abandoned the project upon learning of its severe anti-abortion content.”

Daily Beast reporter Nick Sommer also made assault allegations against an undisclosed crew member, saying that the individual physically assaulted him while he was reporting on set of the film.

The Hollywood Reporter published a quote by one of the film’s potential investors, claiming, “The film reinforces lies that have been told over and over … All the weird fake news about abortion is there. All stuff that is easily debunked.”

Online movie and sports media site, The Ringer, echoed similar sentiments, claiming that “The production has been disastrous, as Loeb and Allyn have struggled to ensure that their film — which was set to finish shooting this past weekend (as of July 17th) — will ever meet a release date.”

The site also commented on just how out of touch the production is with the Hollywood community. “In one crucial sense, the film’s jankiness is a crucial component; it underscores the conservative movement’s alienation from Hollywood, hence Loeb’s fundraising troubles and his reliance on defunct stars.”

The Muse, a branch of radical feminist site, Jezebel, took potshots at “Roe V. Wade” as well, stating that “Nobody wants to be in this film except for crazy people.” The outlet also mocked the director, stating, “Loeb insists that this movie exists as education for viewers and he must think people are stupid enough to believe a movie that has the nerve to cast Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos for any reason at all has no conservative pro-life agenda.”

According to the Washington Times, the casting of either Yiannopoulos or Lahren has neither been confirmed nor denied, with Loeb and other production managers only mentioning that there may be a few “surprise cameos.”

In terms of what’s really going on with “Roe V. Wade,” the director and several other members of the team stated that it is running smoothly and that the bad press covering the production is just that. In terms of the reports of graphic abortion imagery present in the film, Loeb seemed surprised that anyone claimed to have that kind of information, asking “How do you know what’s in a film until it’s done?”

Co-director Cathy Allen countered The Hollywood Reporter’s claims that the movie presented the typical, debunked anti-abortion talking points. She stated that “The filmmakers based the story on 40 research books on the subject and used ‘two sources for every fact we stated.’”

Ms. Allyn also corrected the allegations of Nick Sommer’s assault, saying that the “Daily Beast reporter barged on to the set, trying to write down all of their lines.” She added that an intern intervened only after Sommers grew antagonistic and started “hurling obscenities.”

Those who are actually working on this controversial film see this as a concentrated attack by the fake news media to cripple their work. Mr. Loeb stated, “The ‘fake news’ is incredible. They’re falling all over themselves to lie and spin the truth.”

LifeNews Note: Gabriel Hays writes for Newsbusters, where this originally appeared. Views do not necessarily represent LifeNews.
— Read on www.lifenews.com/2018/08/10/liberal-media-desperate-to-destroy-pro-life-movie-telling-truth-about-roe-v-wade-before-its-release/

FDA Purchasing Aborted Baby ‘Tissue’ to Create Mice With Human Immune System in Order to Test Drug Safety – The Trumpet Online

Christiannews.net

WASHINGTON — Pro-life groups are expressing deep concern after a document from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently surfaced, showing that the government entity has contracted with a biomedical company to obtain “fetal tissue” to create mice with a human immune system in order to test drug safety and efficacy.

“The government intends to solicit and negotiate directly with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) Inc. and no solicitation will be issued. The objective is to acquire tissue for humanized mice. ABR is the only company that can provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by the FDA,” reads a pre-solicitation notice released in June.

“Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system,” it explains. “This human immune system allows us to test biological drug products for safety and efficacy. This is necessary because these drug products do not bind non-human species drug targets.”

See the document in full here. 

The FDA’s contract with ABR went into effect on July 25, according to information on the General Services Administration website, and will run for one year. The FDA is paying ABR $15,900 for the remains of unborn babies, referred to as “human fetal tissue,” for the research endeavor. ABR says that it obtains its “tissue” from first and second trimester abortions, as well as full-term deliveries.

“At the FDA, research involving human fetal tissue accounts for a very small fraction of the FDA’s total research and has been used in situations where it is critical to understanding how the human immune system responds to certain drugs and biologics. This work has led to a better understanding of a number of conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans,” the government organization said in a statement, as reported by CNS News.

“The FDA’s researchers obtain fetal tissue from a non-profit Tissue Procurement Organization (TPO) that have provided assurances that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements, including relevant provisions relating to research involving human fetal tissue. FDA is not involved in the TPO’s sourcing of the tissue,” it added.

“In addition, the FDA has in place systems to ensure FDA research using fetal tissue, as well as any research funded by FDA, is in compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations and guidelines, as well as FDA policies.”

As previously reported, ABR is one of three biomedical companies investigated by Congress surrounding their relationship with the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which had been suspected of making money off the body parts of aborted children. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also submitted a letter to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice in December 2016 to request an investigation into Planned Parenthood and its business partners, which included ABR.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Grassley serves as chairman, had discovered following its own investigation that ABR and others were purchasing baby body parts and cells from Planned Parenthood and then reselling them to researchers at substantially higher prices.

“[I]n June of 2014, an ABR technician obtained a 20-week-old fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic, for which it paid $60,” the Committee outlined in a report. “From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325, both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer, its thymus for $325 and another portion of its liver for $325 to a fourth customer, and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer.”

In addition to making over $2,200 from just one baby, ABR also charged shipping and disease screening fees, making over $6,000 from a single child. A technician from ABR would go to Planned Parenthood and personally collect the aborted baby body parts on site the day of the procedures.

Read the report in full here.

The revelation that the FDA contracted with ABR—or any company—to use the remains of aborted babies for research in mice has horrified pro-life organizations.

“It is difficult to imagine anything more shocking or upsetting than the U.S. government soliciting bids from traffickers in the remains of infant victims of abortion. Every part of this transaction is a tragedy,” said Cathy Ruse of Family Research Council, in a statement. “A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment.”

“The FDA owes the American people an explanation as to how such a contract could have been approved. Americans demand to have a more ethical government—one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings,” she stated.

“Advanced Bioscience Resources is under federal investigation right now for colluding with Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts for profit. It is unconscionable that the United States government is still paying top-dollar in taxpayer money for the freshest, most high-quality dismembered baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” also lamented The Center for Medical Progress, which is known for its undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s supply of baby body parts to companies like ABR.

“By custom-ordering late-term aborted baby body parts for sale from Planned Parenthood partners like ABR, the FDA is directly complicit in these abortions and implies that these kids are worth more to the U.S. government dead than alive,” it said. “HHS must provide full transparency and immediately terminate any and all such contracts, and the U.S. Department of Justice needs to do their job and hold ABR, Planned Parenthood, and those like them accountable to the law.”
— Read on the-trumpet-online.com/fda-purchasing-aborted-baby-tissue-create-mice-human-immune-system-order-test-drug-safety-2/

August 11 Living Unselfishly

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth.”

Matthew 6:19

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The believer is to use his possessions unselfishly.

Some years ago I happened to have contact with two quite wealthy men during the same week. One was a former professor at a major university who through a series of investments made possibly a hundred million dollars. In the process, however, he lost his family, his happiness, and his peace of mind and had aged far beyond his years. The other man, a pastor, also made some investments and acquired great wealth but was not preoccupied with his investments. Because of his financial independence, he gave to his church over the years more than it paid him for being its pastor. He is one of the happiest, most contented, and most godly persons I have ever met. The difference between the two men was not their wealth, but their contrasting views about wealth.

In Matthew 6:19 Jesus taught the right way to view wealth by saying you are not to lay up treasure for yourselves. When you accumulate possessions simply for yourself—whether to hoard or to spend selfishly and extravagantly—those possessions become idols. Jesus is saying, “People in my kingdom shouldn’t amass fortunes or stockpile things for themselves.” Colossians 3:5 says, “Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to … greed, which amounts to idolatry.” Covetousness is idolatry.

What about you? Are you consumed with extending God’s kingdom instead of accumulating possessions for yourself? Do you desire to invest in eternity and God’s causes, or are you being greedy and miserly? First Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Glorify Him by investing in His kingdom and living unselfishly.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you use your possessions unselfishly for His glory.

For Further Study: What warning does Jesus give in Luke 12:15?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.